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PROLOGUE
in a type of life so different from one's own, but for one Sir Robert Hart there are ten thousand Rodney Gilberts, and for one Bertrand Russell there are ten thousand H. G. W. Wood-heads. The result is a constant, unintelligent elaboration of the Chinaman as a stage fiction, which is as childish as it is untrue and with which the West is so familiar, and a continuation of the early Portuguese sailors' tradition minus the sailors' obscenity of language, but with essentially the same sailors3 obscenity of mind.
The Chinese sometimes wonder among themselves why China attracts only sailors  and adventurers to her coast. To understand that,  one would have to read H. JB. Morse and trace the continuity of that sailor tradition to the present day, and observe the similarities between the early Portuguese sailors and the modern O.C.ELs in their general outlook, their interests and the natural process of selection and force of circumstances which have washed them ashore on this corner of the earth, and the motives which drove, and are still driving, them to this heathen country—gold and  adventure.   Gold  and adventure which in the first instance drove Columbus, the greatest sailor-adventurer of them all, to seek a route to China. Then one begins to understand that contiauity, begins to understand how that Columbus-sailor tradition has been so solidly and equitably carried on, and one feels a sort of pity for China; a pity that it is not our humanity but our gold and our capacities as buying animals which have attracted the Westerners to this Far Eastern shore.   It is gold and success, Henry James's "bitch-goddess," which have bound the Westerners and the Chinese together, and thrown them into this whirlpool of obscenity, with not a single human, spiritual tie among them. They do not admit this to themselves, the Chinese and the English; so the Chinese asks the Englishman why he does not leave the country if he hates it so, and the Englishman asks in retort why the Chinese does not leave the foreign settlements, and both of them do not know how to reply.  As it is, the Englishman does not bother to make himself understood to the Chinese, and the true Chinese bothers even less to make himself understood to the Englishman.